5. Scottish Firms Impact Test
Members of the working group helped shape the consultation. Following initial discussions, stakeholders were presented with a draft outline of proposals which were fully considered in the group. The input from individuals representing organisations from across the housing sector was useful as proposals and recommendations were developed and duly finalised.
The highest standards for fire and smoke alarms in houses are set out in building regulations which apply to new build housing and the repairing standard which applies to houses in the private rented sector. Proposals and options outlined in the consultation are to bring other standards in to line with these.
The working group will continue to meet throughout and after the consultation has ended. Members will have the opportunity to consider findings and influence how these can best be taken forward to help reduce fire risk in Scotland's houses. Continued engagement with working group members and other stakeholders will be vitally important as proposals are finalised.
We will specifically engage with stakeholders to seek views on the timescales for (i) introducing any new elements to existing standards and (ii) setting realistic compliance periods to encourage full compliance. The Scottish Government will be hosting events to provide an opportunity for face to face discussions on the consultation document in general and more specifically about the questions posed therein.
Social landlords and owner occupiers may be required to take steps to ensure compliance with any additional fire and smoke alarm requirements added to existing housing standards. To comply, they will be required to ensure any installation work carried out on properties is carried out to a high standard by reputable contactors. There is the potential for small and medium sized local businesses to benefit from related works. Where social landlords rent out a significant number of properties, medium or larger enterprises may be employed. Contracts may go out to tender giving a range of businesses the opportunity to bid for the work.
The nature of the work is unlikely to impact on competitiveness of Scottish companies within the UK or elsewhere in Europe. The following competition assessment questions have been considered and it is felt unlikely that any new measures will have a significant impact on competition.
- Will the measure directly or indirectly limit the number or range of suppliers?
- Will the measure limit the ability of supplier to compete?
- Will the measure limit suppliers' incentive to compete vigorously?
- Will the measure limit the choices and information available to consumers?
Our view is that the answer is no to each of these tests.
There is the potential for job creation opportunities to undertake related works.
Test run of business forms
New business forms may be required to ensure safe installation of fire and smoke alarms. If this proves to be the case, appropriate professional bodies will be involved in drawing up such forms.
Email: Simon Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House